Year 6, 7, & 8 Taproots: Place-based Education
* Middle School with a Difference * Freedom to Learn*
At Prairie Sky School, we educate children holistically through art, community, and nature. In year 6, 7 and 8 at Prairie Sky School, we offer an integrated program taught using place-based learning. As David Sobel writes, “Place-based education is the process of using the local community and environment as a starting point to teach concepts in language arts, mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects across the curriculum. Emphasizing hands-on, real-world learning experiences, this approach to education increases academic achievement, helps students develop stronger ties to their community, enhances students’ appreciation for the natural world, and creates a heightened commitment to serving as active, contributing citizens” (2006).
Our place-based year 6, 7 and 8 class will be offered with ⅓ of our time in the classroom, ⅓ of our time in the community, and ⅓ of our time on nature immersion trips. Every 6 weeks we will go on a 1-5 night wilderness trip to a different part of the province. We will spend time getting to know our own city including natural and cultural features. Students will be engaged in inquiry learning through projects based on their own questions they have about a place. For example, we will plan walking tours of a neighborhood in Regina, we will study forest ecology in the Cypress Hills, we will create artistic representations of historical events, and so much more!
All required areas of study in year 6, 7 and 8 will be covered including: Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts Education, Physical Education, Career Education, Health, and Practical and Applied Arts.
*There are several successful models of middle years integrated education programs in Saskatchewan and Canada that we have learned from including Saskatoon Public School's EcoQuest program and Saskatoon Catholic School's Eco-Justice programs.
Sobel, D. (2006). Place-Based Education: Connecting Classrooms & Communities. Great Barrington:The Orion Society.